“Charles” is a very short story by Shirley Jackson, first published in 1948. Told in first person from a mother’s point of view, this is the story of a little boy who starts school and immediately transforms from a little boy into a smart-mouthed brat. He talks constantly about a boy called Charles who gets up to all sorts of mischief.
“The Falls” (1996) is a short story by American writer George Saunders. Two men walk along a river and face a moral dilemma. Should one risk one’s own life in the hope of saving two drowning girls?
“The Ways Of Ghosts”, also called “An Arrest”, is a very short ghost story by American writer Ambrose Bierce, first published in October 1905. Perfect for a 1905 Hallowe’en?
“There Will Come Soft Rains” (1950) is a short story by American author Ray Bradbury. I thought I’d better read it because August 4 2026 is looking nearer and nearer, and I’d like to know what to expect in four years’ time.
Alien is a 1979 film directed by Ridley Scott. The story was created by Ronald Shusett, also known for Total Recall. The screenplay is by Dan O’Bannon, also known for The Return of the Living Dead.
Are you thinking of writing a story about a kid who leaves the house and rides the bus to school, all the while observing other passengers and gazing out the window? Or a story about a woman who buys frozen pizza at the supermarket, complains about the roast beef then observes characters in the car park before peacing out to the radio? A parking warden who eats a sandwich in the town square before seeing shapes in the clouds? If these quiet stories are your jam, Saul Bellow wrote the mentor text for you.
Nomadland is a 2020 film directed by Chloé Zhao, starring Frances McDormand, David Strathairn and real people engaged as temporary actors, playing a version of themselves.
Shopping malls play a big part in many people’s lives. Naturally, malls make it into fiction, sometimes prominently. How are storytellers making use of malls as setting?
“The Frog Prince” is a short story by American writer Robert Coover. It appeared in the January 19, 2014 edition of The New Yorker and was discussed at The New Yorker short story podcast by Deborah Treisman and Gabe Hudson, a former student of Coover’s. Informed by the podcast discussion, I am on the lookout […]
Veronica is a 1961 picture book by Swiss-American author and illustrator Roger Duvoisin. Some of the illustrations are full colour, others in black marker pen.
I’ve long been fascinated by illustrator Edward Gorey. The moment I saw a photo of him in his big, fur coat I thought, he looks fun. Then I saw a picture of Gorey in his living room, draped all over with cats
The opening to Dusti Bowling’s middle grade novel, Insignificant Events In The Life Of A Cactus, is notable for its lists.